As a registered charity in England, Swarm Dynamics works towards the charitable purpose:
To promote sustainable development for the benefit of the public, by raising awareness of problems and solutions for the preservation, conservation and protection of the environment, and the prudent use of resources, through the use of the arts.
SELECTED WORK AND IMPACT
System Change HIVE – creative engine room to communicate brighter, zero carbon futures:
Our flagship project for 2019, the HIVE is an innovative collaboration between Swarm Dynamics, experts in sustainable development and systems change at STEPS Centre, and Brighton University School of Media. 14 emerging artists and communicators will work with experts to explore and translate complex issues and information about solutions into art driven communications to inspire mainstream audiences. A resulting informative exhibition, including Virtual Reality simulation, soundart and visual art will be brought on tour across the UK from late 2019 till end of 2020 in a rich public engagement programme of festivals and venues, including NESTA’s Future Fest, Brighton Digital Fest, Birmingham Open Media and Eden Centre. Read the press release here or visit the website systemchangehive.org
The project will result in 3 main outcomes that advance our charitable purpose. Firstly, the exhibition will provide an informative immersive experience for an estimated 20,000 physical audiences and many more online and via broadcast media. Through audio guide and interactive information delivered through virtual reality, public audiences will explore pathways into the future and understand how key transformations in the behaviour and consumption patters of individuals, communities, and corporations could result in a cascade of benefits and rapid societal transformations towards a zero cabon economy with well-being for all at its centre. How might our relationship with technologies, with each other, with urban space, work and food transform for the better in zero carbon futures based on sustainable well-being? Audiences will come away with access to an online portal of information including links to real world initiatives that advance game changing sustainable transformations in their area.
Secondly, we will use the story of the HIVE as a conversation starter to engage NGOs and civil society on the need to communicate sustainability issues in more inspiring, artful ways, informed by the research about how to engage different audiences. We believe that artists have an untapped role to play in conceiving new societal solutions, not only as communicators. A number of roundtables and capacity building events will be held in 2020 with NGOs and research managers, to share the creative communications and communiciations learnings from the project. Thirdly, we will assess the replicability of the HIVE and its interdisciplinary methodology, to consider establishing a permanent HIVE in Brighton or beyond.
Capacity building for NGOs – artful story telling to help engage and inform wider audiences:
We have delivered trainings and capacity building events for NGOs who share our charitable purpose, including Friends of the Earth and Sustainable Development Goals Watch. As one example, a story telling lab we ran in 2017 for over 20 communications managers across the Friends of the Earth network gave them tools to approach story telling in fresh and more artful ways, with the help of artists and animators working up a live story board throughout the process. Informed by the evidence from ClimateOutreach and others about how to communicate issues like climate change to the unconverted, participants evaluated our training as highly beneficial for their work engaging and informing wider audiences on climate change and sustainable development. Before becoming a UK registered charity we also worked with the European branch of Friends of the Earth (which includes UK), to generate visual identity for a new awareness raising campaign under incubation – Fossil Free Europe. In a nutshell – our work for NGOs and researchers helps them harness the power of arts, imagination and story telling, helping them to innovate in how to engage wider or different audiences in their work towards sustainable futures.